Under new New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) mandates, all property owners (Responsible Parties) at contaminated sites should retain a Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) by May 7, 2012, to move ahead with remediation on their own initiative.
The Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP)
Facing the challenge of managing cleanup at more than 20,000 contaminated sites in New Jersey, the (NJDEP) has dramatically changed the process used to conduct environmental investigations and cleanups.
On May 7, 2009, Governor Jon Corzine signed the Site Remediation Reform Act, N.J.S.A. 58:10C-1 et seq.[pdf] (“SRRA”) into law. SRRA also amends other statutes such as the Brownfield and Contaminated Sites Act [pdf] and the Spill Compensation and Control Act [pdf]. SRRA, establishes a program for the licensing of Licensed Site Remediation Professionals (“LSRPs”) who will have responsibility for oversight of environmental investigation and cleanup.
Under SRRA, NJDEP approval is no longer required prior to proceeding with remediation. When the Act becomes fully effective in May of 2012 all remediating parties must use the services of a LSRP and must proceed with the clean up of their site without prior NJDEP approval.
The NJDEP is nonetheless required to establish mandatory remediation timeframes for the completion of key phases of site remediation.
Under these new rules, the voluntary cleanup program which utilized Memoranda of Agreement (MOAs), no longer exists. During the transitioning phase leading up to full implementation of this program, all parties who initiated remediation prior to November 3, 2009 will not be required to hire a LSRP to conduct the remediation right away. Remediation of those sites will follow the remediation process with traditional NJDEP oversight. With few exceptions, a remediating party of an existing case must submit an initial Receptor Evaluation form, by March 1, 2012,pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:26E-1.15. This is an important deadline, as it is required for all cases, and is a “mandatory timeframe”, meaning that NJDEP can strip control of any party’s cleanup of a remediation site if they miss the deadline.
‘Opting-In’ to the LSRP Program
All parties are required to hire a Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) by May 7, 2012, and to then proceed with the remediation without Department pre-approval. However, a party may choose to opt-in to the LSRP remediation program prior to May 7, 2012. To opt-in the person must complete the LSRP Notification of Retention or Dismissal Form. The person certifying the form may proceed with the remediation upon submittal of the certified form.
Many property owners have already “Opted in”. Currently over 350 cases are registered!
Benefits to Opting in:
· Remediation is likely to move more quickly because there is no waiting for Department review and approval.
· Predictable Annual Fees replace traditional oversight costs.
· More flexibility in the remediation schedule and approach, up to, and including case closure.
· LSRPs have the knowledge and experience to guide the Responsible Party (RP) through the process.
· LSRPs approve the dispensation of remediation funding sources and provide financial assurance.
· DEP established a Technical Consulting process so that the RP get the Department’s guidance on site specific technical issues.
· The Department’s focus will now be on compliance assistance for cases that choose to opt in, rather than enforcement.
After May 2012 remediating parties for all cases will be required to hire an LSRP. Impact Environmental Consulting is committed to comprehensive environmental services that remain current with these changes. For a complete listing of services, please visit www.impactenvironmental.com.
Robert Ott PMP, LEED GA for EarthEnergyExchange Ltd 2/10/12